Ap World History Comparisons/Differences Study Guide


All had hieroglyphic writing systems. The Indus valley civilizations writing system has yet to be deciphered so researchers know little about the civilization. All were a patriarchal society were the eldest male in the extended family had the greatest authority. They all also developed metallurgical skills and made important cultural achievements. In Mesopotamia, the wheel, the sundial, number system based on 60, construction, irrigation systems, mathematics and astronomy, and a writing system; in China, paper, wheelbarrow, watermills, construction, writing system, and irrigation systems.

In India, construction, writing system, and irrigation system; in Egypt, writing system, irrigation system, calendar based on 365 days, construction, and a form of papyrus. Differences: Women in Egypt were treated better then women in Mesopotamia, India ,or China. Women in Mesopotamia, for example, could be beaten(as long as the stick was smaller than the husbands thumb) or drowned by their husbands, but women in Egypt divorce, own/inherit property, and participate in business ventures with their husbands.

Roman, Han, and Gupta India: All three empires were built on conquest, and they begun as small states and eventually became large, culturally diverse empires. All three were patriarchal societies. The status of women varied in these civilizations but the women were subordinate to men and were chiefly mother and wives. All built an elaborate network of roads for the movement of their armies; the merchants used the roads as well for trade. All were influenced by new religions: Buddhism in china and India, and Christianity in Rome.

All were governed by kings at some point in their development( Rome was a kingship, then developed a republic, then an emperor), kings ruled with help of complex bureaucracies, and their empires were divided into provinces. All had similar causes for collapse: high taxes, nomadic invasions, long borders that were hard to defend, corrupt rulers, influence to new religion, and the spread of disease( bubonic plague and small pox). all developed important cultural achievements: network of roads, uniform currency, indoor plumbing, aqueducts, public baths, and construction in Rome.

In Han China, a network of roads uniform currency, construction, the civil service exam, irrigation systems, and paper money; and in Gupta India, construction, network of roads, concept of zero, cataract and abdominal surgeries, and circumference of the earth. Differences: Rome and India relied on slaves for agricultural and domestic labor and for monumental building. Han China did not use slavery (slavery had been abolished during the Qin dynasty). Slavery was abolished so taxes could be collected, for rich did not pay them nor did slaves. One of Rome’s reason for decline was their over dependence of slavery.

Christianity, Islam, and Judaism: All three religions were monotheistic and believed in the same god(Christianity: God; Islam: Allah; and Judaism: YHWH). All believed in heaven/hell and final judgment and prayer is very important in all three religions. Differences: Christians believe that Jesus is the messiah and Christianity is larger than both Islam and Judaism( 1 billion followers v. 800 million v. 17 million). Christianity dominated the Roman world, including the Byzantine Empire and Western Europe; Islam dominated the Middle East, North Africa, Western India and, for a time, the Iberian peninsula(Spain).

Buddhism and Hinduism: Both religions originated in India and believed in reincarnation until spiritual perfect is achieved. Differences: Hinduism is polytheistic; Buddhism doesn’t believe in a god. Reincarnation in Hinduism is tied to the caste system; Buddhists reject the notion of the caste. Today, Buddhism is practiced in Japan, China, India, and Southeast Asia; Hinduism is practiced in India. Hinduism is larger than Buddhism(700 million followers v. 300 million). It helps that a large amount India was exposed to Hinduism first and India has a huge population to give it it’s number of followers.

Roles of woman in Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, and Confucianism: In all four religions, women were subservient to men. Women had to take care of the children and the house. Elite women had more restrictions than poor women(ritual sati in India), but had more opportunities than poor women(education). Poor women were not expected to commit sati due to financial reasons, also, education was not addressed because they did not have the time with their work and their husbands probably weren’t educated.

Restrictions on all women increased as time went on(Christian women could initially serve as priestesses but later prevented form doing this). Differences: Women were the most subjected under Hinduism: elite women expected to commit Sati after the death of their husbands. Buddhist women could serve as nuns, as could Christian women: by the time Christianity arose, Hindu and Confucian women could serve as priestesses. Christianity offered women something special: celibacy(permitted single women a degree of independence).

Slavery and the caste system: Both slavery and the caste system were oppressive systems. Both determined ones occupation, marriage partner, and social status. Differences: The caste system has its roots in religion(specifically Hinduism); slavery has its roots in warfare(slaves were often prisoners of war). Political and social developments in western Europe the Byzantine Empire from the fall Rome until 1450CE: In both western Europe and the Byzantine empire, Christianity was the official religion. Differences:

After the fall of Rome, Western Europe fragmented into a handful of different kingdoms; Eastern Europe remained united under the rule of an emperor. After the fall of Rome, Western Europe Entered a “dark age” where technological, scientific, and other cultural developments were minimal and cities fell into decay; Eastern Europe’s cities remained among the most magnificent and cosmopolitan in the world. In the aftermath of roman rule, Western Europe developed a feudal society in which self-sufficient farming estates, called manors, were common; Eastern Europe did not develop a manorial system.